Back in December, I ordered three shrubs to add to the winter interest in the garden, including Camellia ‘Yuletide’, a replacement for a small potted specimen that had turned up its toes: two came within a few days, unlike Yuletide which did not arrive until this week. I wasn’t troubled by the delay itself because new regulations for Plant Passports have caused all sorts of delays for nurseries, but unusually there was no communication about the long delay and even my email query a month ago produced a minimal response. It’s not a nursery I have used before and opted for it purely for this plant, a good-sized specimen at a reasonable price, but I am unlikely to use it again and shan’t be recommending it. Fortunately it arrived in good condition, surprisingly still in bloom, although without any paperwork or planting instructions.
A mild week meant planting was achieved the day after arrival, and it was one of those late-winter-but-with-spring-in-sight days when one task leads quickly into another – camellia planting to epimedium leaf trimming to snowdop splitting to digging out more bluebell and wild garlic to tidying up herbaceous perennials and so on until it was a well-deserved cup of tea and cake time. The progress of the garden in just a week is remarkable – last week I was digging out those stray bulbs in the woodland, unable to determine which were bluebells and which were wild garlic…today it was patently obvious:
These are wild garlic:
And these are bluebells – and fritillary too, the latter with flower buds evident. Dislodging the leaf litter also showed the first signs of wood anemones pushing their way through – none of these were evident even a week ago!
Both common and special snowdrops are showing their appreciation, reaching up on tiptoes as they welcome the warmer days, bobbing their heads about as they discuss the finer things in life:
I was going to show you this curiosity amongst my special snowdrops, three flower buds emerging from one bulb (Cowhouse Green), but those few days delay and the lengthened stems have reduced the impact, and in fact two of the three stems are now fused together, a curiosity in itself but impossible to see in this photo!
Instead, perhaps one of our galanthophile readers can help with a query that has stumped both Anna of Green Tapestry and myself. What was meant to be ‘Faringdon Double’ has shown 6 poculiform white outer petals, with inner segments having two tiny dark green marks at the apex and two tiny lighter marks at the base. These photos were taken a couple of weeks ago when the flowers were past their best and sadly I had not noticed the discrepancy before then – any suggestions anybody? I have searched my snowdrop books without success.
I talked last week about space in the greenhouse, and this week pricking out has begun, adding to the pressure of space. Again, thoese milder days have put a spring in the step of those seedlings…
Moving away from green and white, my last witch hazel is now coming into bloom; supposedly later to flower than the x intermedia varieties, Hamamelis vernalis ‘Amethyst’ has not usually flowered here at anything other than the same time as the others, but perhaps she is finally celebrating her different background. Pink, rather than the purple her name suggests, she makes a pretty contribution to the late winter garden:
That’s approximately six contributions to Jon the Propagator’s Saturday meme; please visit his blog to find more.